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Extra Bus Replacements, Some Trains Running For Hurricanes Game Amid Long Weekend Rail Works

  • Buses will replace trains between Wellington and Johnsonville, Petone and Porirua stations,
  • Extra bus replacements between those stations will run before and after the game,
  • Hutt Valley line trains between Upper Hutt and Petone; and Kāpiti line trains between Waikanae and Porirua will be running.
  • Buses will replace Wairarapa line trains between Masterton and Wellington until Tuesday 4 June.

While Wellingtonians enjoy the long weekend, KiwiRail will be carrying out important work to upgrade the signals at Wellington Station and complete maintenance work elsewhere on the lines. This will impact people travelling over King’s Birthday weekend, including to the Hurricanes game at Sky Stadium on Saturday 1 June.

Metlink is adding both extra and larger bus replacements on its network to ensure travelling fans can get to and from the Hurricanes’ final regular season game against the Highlanders.

Greater Wellington Transport chair Thomas Nash says compromises were made to ensure travelling fans are able to use Metlink services and critical maintenance and rail renewal work can be carried out.

“We’ve worked hard with KiwiRail, Transdev and the Hurricanes to ensure we can keep parts of the rail network open, while running the biggest buses available from the closest possible stations on each line,” Cr Nash says.

“While we acknowledge this decision will frustrate some fans, this will allow key signalling upgrades at Wellington Station to progress. It also allowed us to push for trains to run on Saturday 22 June – the day of the final. If the Hurricanes make it, we could see a sellout, and we’re committed to ensuring trains can run on that day.”

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Hurricanes CEO, Avan Lee said, with the race to the finals heating up - the support of Hurricanes members and fans has been a point of difference as they welcome the Highlanders to town.

“We’re excited to be back at Our House - with another big derby this Saturday, we’re looking forward to hosting our Hurricanes members and fans. With planned works on the train lines, the additional buses will help get our fans from door to door, with ease.”

With forecast attendance for the game at around 15,000 and the longer travel time for bus replacements, Metlink is reminding passengers to travel early to avoid missing out on a seat or the start of the game. Stadium-goers are also reminded to pay by Snapper card on Saturday to receive an off-peak, half price fare.

Extra bus replacements will depart once the game, including golden point if required, finishes.

Metlink group manager Samantha Gain says Metlink, KiwiRail and Transdev schedule buses to replace the train services up to six months in advance, which enables planning for events like possible Hurricanes home games for the quarter and semi-finals.

“At this stage, trains are running on all lines on 7,8 and 15 June when the quarter and semi-finals may take place”, Ms Gain says.

I’m pleased we’ve been able to find a solution for this Saturday’s game, however, it is a balancing act. In planning ahead, we always use public holidays, with their lower commuter numbers and an extra day for work, as an opportunity to close the rail network for vital works.”

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